Campus Dumpster Diving
Finals are over, grades are in, and everyone is going home for the summer. This means its time to throw out all that stuff you don't need, or can't fit in the car, or don't want. Right? Well, that is what a large proportion of the college population believes. The last week that students are allowed in the dorms is one of the best for some campus dumpster diving. College campuses are home to some of the most entitled people you will ever encounter. This means that they see no problem with trashing perfectly good items. Though this is great for those of us who look through the dumpsters, it still makes me angry because of all the waste. With that said, let's take a look at what I found last week.
Oddly enough, the dumpsters here seemed like the best place to find futons last week. I found a few very nice, high quality futons. I also found a few broken and lower quality futons. If I had had the space and the right vehicle to transport it, I'd have taken the best frame I found. In fact, when I found that frame, we had also run into another couple people looking for items and once I pointed it out to them, they decided to take it. I'm sad I couldn't grab the frame, but at least it found a home rather than the landfill.
Need a microwave or a fridge?
The other thing I found multiple times were microwaves. I really don't need another microwave, so I didn't grab them, but I couldn't believe that these people were just throwing them out. I also found multiple mini fridges. Mini fridges can come in handy, no matter where you live. Maybe even in your office? If I had thought ahead more, I might have grabbed one of those. The mini fridges are always a good thing to have.
Other kinds of Goodies
Alright, so I went over the big stuff (which I didn't actually get), so let's look at what I did grab. We found a bunch of unopened snack items. That really surprised me. Why would you not just bring those items with you? Or give them to someone down the hall? Is throwing out perfectly good food really the only option?
In another dumpster we found a perfectly good roll of paper towels and a reusable shopping bag. The roll of paper towels was opened, but only a couple sheets has been used. We tore off the outer pieces, just in case, and now we have most of a roll to use at home. And the shopping bag looks like a higher quality than any of the bags that I already own. And it was pretty clean too. If someone is throwing out a bag like that, I expect it to be gross and not want to touch it, but really, it was fine. There was an interesting box that looked unused and I am sure I can find some way to use it for storage. And a very useful find (if it has any money left on it): a bed bath and beyond gift card. The card says it is for $50, and I doubt if there is any money on it that it is full, but who knows. Maybe I'll find a dollar or two on it. And that makes me a dollar or two richer.
Another campus dumpster found us an awesome Christmas sweater, and the best find of the week: a printer. The sweater is cool, just because it is an ugly Christmas sweater and it looks great. Now, the printer is an Epson XP-410 model, which is newer than what I had before, even if it isn't the newest model. It also has a scanner and a copier. And it can be found wirelessly over the internet to be used by any computer on the network. The best part is that I found all the cables next to it. And all of the ink cartridges were full! So, at the very least, I can use it until I run out of ink.
My warning to you
Now I've talked about the awesome things that I found and took while campus dumpster diving. But, not everything was useful. We found lots of actual trash. A lot of cleaning products. Binders full of papers that had already been thrown out. A ton of rugs. Numerous scraps of fabric (which I wouldn't have used, but someone else may have found them useful). Pizza boxes and take out containers. A very nice black and decker blender that had been abused (and I couldn't find the lid).
So some of those items could have been useful to other people. A lot of them were just trash. But what I didn't mention were the credit cards and checks that we found. One reason why dumpster diving has been made illegal in some areas is due to the risk of identity theft. And honestly, if you are stupid enough to throw trash and usable credit cards into the trash, that is your own fault. But nobody deserves to have their identity stolen. And so we, trying to be good citizens ripped up the check (which had already been signed by the person it was made out to) and broke the credit card, including the chip.
But this is my warning to you: do NOT throw anything with your personal information on it into the trash! And paper like that, rip up and burn. Break the credit cards before you throw them out.
So what kind of campus dumpster diving do you do? What is the best thing that you have found? Been to multiple campuses? What sets them apart? Freshmen dorms, or upperclassmen?
Edit: I found out that the bed bath and beyond gift card was full. So I just found $50.